Before I begin I want to let you know that this is the first review I’ve ever written so I’ma need you guys to bear with me while I get the hang of this. I was thinking about reviews that I’ve read in the past where the [censored] writing it wound up pissing me off one way or another…usually by being a pretentious [censored] and trying to out-nerd the reader with a bunch of obscure references to other bands you’ve never heard of and don’t [censored]. So my initial thought on everything was to try and shy away from that as much as possible while still being able to paint you a clear picture of a show that you probably didn’t go to.
First off I want to set the stage for this [censored]…it was somewhere between 90 and 2000 degrees outside and so humid that periodically it would spontaneously burst into a shower of nearly-boiling rain even though it wasn’t cloudy.
For those of you who have had the pleasure of attending shows at the Corpse Fortress, you already know that there are a few things that you can count on.
It’s going to smell like creepy bike punks, you will not be able to hear the vocals at all and it’s going to be 30 degrees hotter inside than it is outside.
Nothing was any different this time. A little after 4 pm the first band was getting ready to start their set. The basement was full but not jammed up like many shows at the Corpse Fortress, and the crowd was a mix of faces I recognize from not being friendly with me at other shows and new people who seemed like they probably wouldn’t like me either, but the energy was good in the room.
The first band was Sad Bones and they kicked things off with a poppy alternative indie sound that reminded me of a lot of shows I took chicks to in the early/mid-90s in order to try and [censored]. I dug what they were doing even though it was poppier than anything I remember listening to in probably 13 years minimum. They were capable musicians and I dug their bass player’s sound quite a bit. At the very worst they were probably ripping off a lot of bands people haven’t thought about in awhile, which makes it easier to get away with. The singer has a really nice voice which, as previously mentioned, you didn’t have a chance of hearing unless you stood really close. I thought the singer was a female with a crucial mustache before I figured out that he was just a small-framed dude with pounds of luxuriously frizzy hair … but my man has a nice voice for sure. They played a set that while not really the standard fare at this venue was well-received and enjoyed by most of the people there, and it started me on what felt like a journey through the alt-rock years of my life.
Like I said before, the Sad Bones brought that early 90s college radio sound rushing back on me and the next band, Troubled Sleep, bumped me ahead a few years to when I was getting into slightly more underground acts in this genre because it seemed like the chicks who were into the more mainstream indie shit were too snooty and didn’t really want to [censored] or do drugs as much as me so I decided to find scummier chicks. I do not wish to imply that the ladies from Troubled Sleep themselves were scummy chicks at all. In fact, they both seemed perfectly lovely and fun. I sat in front of a fan in the living room with the drummer for some time and she seemed like a real class act!
Troubled Sleep are vaguely based out of New York although I think they have some ties to the Baltimore/DC area, but I also don’t know where I got that from – I just think my friend Joe said he had done some recording work for them in the past. They had a really great sound (aside from the singer who of course was inaudible) and brought a more rocking style of indie rock that had people moving their heads and occasionally even moving their arms a little bit. I appreciate the harder edge to their music greatly and although still not quite what you normally get at the Fortress, they brought the middle of this three band lineup up to a really fun level and made me miss 1997 really bad. I definitely look forward to seeing this band again and maybe bringing my fiancé and seeing how scummier indie rock works on her, because it sure used to work well for me back in the day!
And finally the roller coaster ride of my musical journey roared into the 2000s, where there was a lot of good mid-fast-tempo-melodic-punky hardcore happening around here and it is probably even more fun now than it was then because I was distracted by too many other things to really enjoy it the first time around!
Police & Thieves have been putting on great shows for awhile and true to their normal M.O. they delivered a high-energy set in spite of the extraordinary humidity.
I have no idea how long they played but it seemed entirely too short and I would have been happy to have stood there in that disgusting basement for easily another 20-30 minutes if they would have indulged us, but instead they ran through their set, not really giving us time to properly applaud them or give Carlos a chance to take a drink of his water without dropping it on the floor 20 times.
If you like really talented DC-styled hardcore and don’t already know about Police & Thieves, then you are probably a herb, but should still definitely take some time to check them out. I know I’m pretty much preaching to the choir with most of the people reading this. P&T are dope.
So there you have it, this was a really fun show and definitely one that you might have enjoyed more than you expected. I know that is the way I felt about it. A trip down memory lane, on a dirty sweat fueled slip and slide full of [censored].
Courtesy of Dave Homeowner
This review: A+
Dave’s internet persona: A
My internet persona: C+
Seen on the Scene: Beck Levy (the Gift), Ambrose Nzams (Something Crucial Records), Christine Cuniff (Death Rats), Joe Mitra (recording engineer), Simon Cohen (the Coits), Copstabber Dave.
Who put this show on? Carni Klirs. Did he pay the house? Yes. Did he clean up after the show? Yes. Was Pat Vogel there? Yes!